Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This is a collection of all the different blogs I (try to) read.  A whole bunch!  If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to use the CONTACT page to get a hold of me.  Thanks!



Stumpy Nubs Video Review — “SketchUp For Kitchen Design”

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - 5 hours 50 min ago
James Hamilton (aka Stumpy Nubs) has included a video review of my latest book “SketchUp For Kitchen Design”. Jim is the host/author/publisher of the online “Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal”  and you can read the latest issue (and start your free … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Dutch Tool Chest - in Spain! Part I

Toolerable - 7 hours 43 min ago
I was able to spend some quality time the last couple days in the office with a new project, a Dutch tool chest!

This project started a few weeks ago with a trip to the local home center on the bus.
Jonas says these wheelie bags are only for old people.
I haven't yet found a lumberyard nearby that I can get to without a car, so I am stuck with public transportation. I was able to get all of this lumber in my wheelie bag normally reserved for grocery shopping!

I'm lucky that this home center has such nice plastic-wrapped laminated pine. They are glued from long pieces of wood.
If you dig through the pile, there are often boards as nice as this!
I came to Spain with a limited tool set, and when I went to Denmark, I seem to have left my combination square at home in Munich. When I mentioned the problem to Jonas, he suggested using a piece of printer paper.
Testing for square with a piece of printer paper.
Even though I have a pair of saw benches, there are some operations that still must be done on the floor. Shooting these wide boards is one. I think I am getting used to shooting this way - marking a square line and planing to it.

With the two side pieces picked out and the bottom cut to length, I can plane the edges. I made one edge smooth on each side, then clamped them together to gang-plane them in the hope they will all turn out the same width.
Here is where I really miss my square, but the eye is pretty accurate when it has to be.
With that done, I can start dovetails. Last time I risked the death penalty by sawing them clamped to our brand new sideboard. Now that I have some saw benches, I'll try some less-risky (to my health) work holding.
I did buy a pair of C-clamps.
This is the first time I ever gang-cut dovetails. It seems to have worked. And, I am amazed I can cut dovetails with the same saw I use to break down rough lumber.
Gratuitous Dick saw shot.
These saw benches make a world of difference. Getting things off the floor makes it much easier to work longer and requires less ibuprofen.
Chiseling out the waste after coping. BTW, I love having sun light in the shop.
Having low benches isn't perfect, but with a bit of thinking about a workholding problem, most things can be solved.
Marking the pins.
With no joinery planes here, I wasn't able to plane a shallow rabbet on the pins. I had to forgo that trick. Cross your fingers!
Cutting the pins.
With the dovetails done, It is time to cut the grooves for the shelves. I used a leg from the broken safari chair as a saw guide.
Once again, A4 paper to the rescue!
The chair leg worked brilliantly, but it was a bit too tall for my Ryoba Dick saw. I solved that problem by removing the handle.
Sawing crossgrain kerfs for shelf dadoes.
It takes a light touch, as there are sharp teeth on both sides of this blade. With a bit of care it can be done.
This is how I sawed the dado.

Approaching the line.
Sawing that way works great. All that is left is to hog out the waste with a chisel and clean it up with a router plane.
Oops! I don't have a router plane. I guess do it all with a chisel!
The next step is to cut the angle on the side pieces. I then clamped them together, clamped the whole works to a saw bench and smooth the ends.
Aren't self-timers a great invention?
Glue up. I didn't have a clamp wide enough, so I just glued the snot out of everything and pounded it home with a mallet.
I thought it was a booger, but it's not. (You have to say that out loud for it to be funny.)
Now I get to try my new tapered drill bit to make pilot holes for Roman nails!
Pretty, isn't it?
Well, while I was trying to take this fancy shot, the eggbeater fell on the floor and broke the tip off of the tapered drill bit. I was able to finish with it, but that bit now likes to wander all over the place.
Not sure this art shot was worth it.
Mike Siemsen left a comment on my Instagram recomending I just cut the head off of one of these nails and use that for a tapered pilot hole drill bit. Great idea!

I've been thinking of ways to keep the lid and the front panel flat with battens. I don't really want to use screws on this project, so I thought I would make a test to see if I could clench these Roman nails to join two pieces of this pine.
It works brilliantly!
So that means I'll be clenching some nails on those panels.

That's all I have completed so far.
Well, it holds tools!
I was trying to figure out how to make tongue and groove or shiplap with no joinery planes for the back boards, and was inspired to spend thirty minutes making Paul Sellers' version of a rabbet plane out of construction pine. We'll find out tomorrow how well it works.
A Paul Sellers tool on a Christopher Schwarz tool chest.

Categories: Hand Tools

Strong Trunk

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - 7 hours 58 min ago

Fig. 8.1. A strong trunk in mahogany with ‘riveted’ corners.

This is an excerpt from “Campaign Furniture” by Christopher Schwarz. 

One of the more common pieces of campaign furniture is the simple trunk, sometimes also called a “strong chest,” “traveling chest” or “barracks chest.” The one shown in this chapter, however, has some unusual details you should be aware of. More about those oddities in a few paragraphs.

Trunks typically have square ends – both the height and depth of the trunk can be roughly 15″ to 25″. In general, they are somewhere between 25″ to 40″ wide. The chests are frequently dovetailed at the corners and bound with brass corners and other brass straps. Despite the dovetails, many of the lids and bottoms of trunks were merely nailed to the carcase. It is not unusual to find a trunk with a lid or bottom that has a split.

The trunks almost always had a lock or hasp to protect the contents.

Many of the trunks were raised on some sort of foot. The foot could be as simple as a sledge (sometimes called sled) foot – just a square of wood – all the way to a complex bracket foot.

Inside, many trunks had a small till with a lid, much like a typical household chest. This till stored small items and its lid served as a stop to hold the trunk’s lid open. The chests are typically made from mahogany, oak, teak and camphorwood, which naturally repels moths.

The trunk shown here is typical in many of its attributes except for the joinery at the corners. Instead of dovetails, I have chosen an uncommon (but definitely reliable) type of joinery found on trunks from the West Indies.


Fig. 8.2. A ‘rivet.’ This piece of early campaign hardware is held in with screws that then had their heads filed off flush to the pull. This feature shows up on other pieces and even on English infill handplanes.

That’s a Rivet?

I first encountered this joint while haunting antique stores on King Street in Charleston, S.C. One of the trunks there had a series of brass circles that ran in a line up each corner. At first it looked like brass inlay, which is a common feature of some Anglo-Indian campaign pieces.

Instead of decoration, the brass circles turned out to be the joinery.

The dealer, who had imported campaign furniture from the West Indies for decades, explained that some collectors referred to that joint as a “rivet.” He explained that the rivet was nothing more than a brass screw that had been driven in so its head was still proud. Then the screw head was filed flush to the carcase, eliminating the slot.

It’s a surprisingly simple and (I think) attractive way to make a strong joint that looks a lot better than having 12 wooden screw plugs lined up on the corners.

This approach shows up in other applications in the woodworking field. Sometimes, screw heads are filed flush with a piece of hardware. And if you’ve ever seen infill handplanes, you know it was common for the maker to screw in the wooden infills and the lever cap then file off the heads – making for a clean sidewall of the tool.

This trunk is based on several smaller English examples I’ve studied that were dovetailed. But instead of the dovetails, I substituted “rivets” as the joinery to make the trunk look more like one from the West Indies. If you want a more English look, cut through- or full-blind dovetails at the corners. The other decorative details, such as the brass corners and bracket feet, pretty much remain the same.


Fig. 8.3. Typically English. This small trunk features blind dovetails at the corners, brass corners, chest lifts and a strong lock.

Almost a Butt Joint

The joinery of the trunk is as simple as a modern kitchen cabinet. The ends are captured by 5/16″-deep x 5/8″-wide rabbets cut on the ends of the front and back pieces. This corner joint is first glued then later screwed. The bottom is captured in a groove plowed in the ends, front and back.

The lid is built a lot like the case below. The ends are glued into rabbets in the front and back pieces. The lid is then nailed on top of that assembly.

When building the carcase, there are two basic paths you can follow. You can build the entire chest and lid as one unit then saw the lid free from the carcase. Or you can build the lid and carcase separately.

I took a path between these extremes. I cut the joints on all the parts. Then I ripped the lid parts free from the carcase parts. I assembled the lid and carcase separately. Why? I don’t like pushing a big assembled carcase over a table saw. But all three approaches work. Choose one you like.

Meghan Bates

Filed under: Campaign Furniture
Categories: Hand Tools

Greenwood Fest 2017 from Plymouth CRAFT

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - 8 hours 40 min ago


Yes, we’re dumb enough. Last year, during Plymouth CRAFT’s first-ever Greenwood Fest, the question we got more than any other (except “Is there more coffee?”) was “Are you going to do this next year?” – and our catch phrase became “If we’re dumb enough to do this again…”

We’re thrilled to be so stupid! We can’t wait. The dates for Plymouth CRAFT’s Greenwood Fest 2017 are Friday June 9-Sunday June 11, 2017 at the Pinewoods Dance Camp in Plymouth Massachusetts. There will be several 2-day classes ahead of the festival, from lunchtime on Tues June 6th through lunchtime Thursday June 8th.

Paula Marcoux & I are working on the lineup, classes, descriptions and all that jazz. We are terribly sorry that our festival is in direct conflict, time-wise, with the Spoon Gathering in Milan, MN., but the dates are out of our hands pretty much. The Pinewoods Dance Camp is usually booked years ahead – that’s not an exaggeration. So we have to take the dates they have for us; and the best dates they have in terms of weather are early June. We apologize for not getting the dates out sooner.

Instructors include many returning from last year; Jögge Sundqvist, Dave Fisher, JoJo Wood – and others too. I’ll do some blog posts about them soon. Spoons, bowls, furniture, hewing – many aspects of green woodworking to explore.

Soon Paula will have the website up & running. It’s going to be posted with the classes offered, some (most?) of the schedule, etc before registration opens. That way, you’ll have time to decide about classes, etc. before panic sets in…

The best way to keep abreast of it all is to sign up for the newsletter from Plymouth CRAFT, http://www.plymouthcraft.org/contact but I’ll post updates here too of course.

here’s a video from last year –

Greenwood Fest 2016 from Harry Kavouksorian on Vimeo.

Divider Sharpening – 360w360 E.204

360 WoodWorking - 15 hours 49 min ago
Divider Sharpening – 360w360 E.204

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking the 360 guys talk about divider sharpening.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

If you have topics you’d like to hear covered in future episodes, click here to send an email to the guys.

Continue reading Divider Sharpening – 360w360 E.204 at 360 WoodWorking.

things are getting crazy........

Accidental Woodworker - 18 hours 59 min ago
My blog at worked has been blocked again for content unknown. I had it for a week and when I came in on saturday it was semi blocked and I eventually was able to view it. Come monday morning at oh dark thirty there was no Joy in Mudville.  No access anyway, anyhow. Just my opinion but I feel like I am being specifically targeted. But opinions are like A-holes, everyone has one and some stink more than others.

I decided to take up Andy's suggestion and buy a 4G tablet and use that to access my blog. I went and talked to the verizon rep and the 3 tablets I wanted weren't available. They were all out of stock and no idea when new stock was coming. I did get some good news from the rep concerning other tablets. I can buy my own and as long as it has a sim card, he can activate it and I can browse .

I used to be computer savvy but I scratch built my last computer almost ten years ago. Windows 2000 was the OS of choice then with XP just hitting the streets. Tablets are computers but the nomenclature, specs, and abilities are different than tower computers, And I haven't kept up with all the changes. I've been slogging my way through the various specs of different tablets and everyone I'm liking is either way too much money (more than my current laptop cost) or they are out of stock. It seems xmas isn't the time to be buying one.

I still haven't found one yet but another headache is figuring out the plans. Accessing my blog shouldn't eat up all of data but costs, terms of contract, how much gigabyte storage, etc etc etc etc is making me want to lay down and take a nap. I have looked at Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile,ATT, and Apple, All of them are ridiculous with the $$$ and there are so many gotchas in the contract that I doubt even a lawyer could decipher that verbiage.

Apple and T-Mobile are out of the running and I was considering Sprint. They have both of the tablets I want but I can't figure out a plan. Even my wife looked at it and it confused the hell out of her too. So until I get a tablet I won't be able to respond to comments until I get home from work. I can read my blog on my phone but I find it too difficult to try and edit the it, read other blogs, or respond to comments.

I made a pit stop tonight at Wally World because I had to get a few things and I also wanted to look at their tablets. I got all the things I was looking for but they only had one tablet on display. I'll go to BJ's warehouse this weekend and see what they are offering.

drew a new curve on the bottom
This was a freehand drawing of the curve and I like it. I still have the width for the shelf and I shortened it some. I think it looked too fat before.

this is an awesome spokeshave
I couldn't get the stanley spokeshave to work on this but the Boggs didn't have any problems.

flatten and straighten one long edge first
the tops are cupped or bowed
I bandsawed the waste as close to but still leaving my layout lines as I could. It only took about 10 minutes to spokeshave down to the lines.

the bottom matches pretty good, not perfect but awfully close
brown knot
Brown knots in pine aren't good to have. These usually dry out, shrink , and either fall out or rattle they are so loose.

I think it's a brown knot under the paint
two long edges fit good
Not having a perfect match on the sides isn't a deal killer. What is important is that I get the shelf positions dead nuts on both. I think this will be a painted project due to the knots and that pine doesn't stain all that well.

no twist in this side on either face
twist in the side I shaped tonight
I got ahead of myself here and I should have checked for twist before doing the shaping. I can do it now but I'll have to make custom stops so I can plane the twist out.  I'll pick this back up tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
In what country did the windmill originate?
answer - in Iran in 644AD where it was used to grind grain

Picture This CI

Pegs and 'Tails - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 11:20pm
I mentioned mahogany wake tables in A Wake back in January this year: At approximately twelve feet long and six feet wide, when open, could the massive wake table below have been commissioned for seeing off one of Ireland’s renowned … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

DAP RapidFuse for Wood = Nexabond 2500M

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 7:54pm
DAP Rapid Fuse for Wood
Last year, I wrote a series on this blog about the characteristics, performance, and practical applications of Nexabond, an excellent cyanoacrylate glue formulated specifically for woodworking. Since then, the developer of the glue, Sirrus, Inc., has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with DAP Products, Inc. The Nexabond 2500M (medium set time) formulation in now […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 7: Veritas Spokeshave

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 4:15pm

Like a good French rasp, a spokeshave will open your eyes to a new world. Furniture parts that were once simply flat or round can easily be made curved and subtly faceted. And though the type of spokeshave you prefer is pretty personal, it’s hard to argue that the most successful and copied model is the Stanley 151 shave. I think this model is the apogee of this form’s design. […]

The post Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 7: Veritas Spokeshave appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Issue Two Posters Now Available

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 2:35pm

In anticipation of Issue Two being only weeks away from arrival, we added Issue Two cover posters to our offerings. This detail shot of the banister-back chair featured in in this upcoming issue is important in my mind because it shows up close the tolerances found in period work. It’s a fascinating juncture between the turned elements, split banisters, and planed lower back rail. This photo was shot before I finished this piece and so it highlights the irregularities and textures inherent in the handcraft process.

These posters are same size and cost as last time ($15) and are definitely a “while supplies last” kind of thing. (We still have some the half-off Issue One posters left if you want one of those too.) I expect them to be in stock for at least a little while but no promises about how long exactly. When they’re gone they’re gone. If you would be bummed to have missed out, I would recommend putting in an order sooner than later.

You can order the new poster here.


p.s. Just heard from the printer that the cover was on press today! In only a few weeks we’ll be seeing that truck full of pallets!


Categories: Hand Tools

The Anarchist’s Editor’s Gift Guide, Item 2: Benchcrafted ‘Skraper’

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 11:40am

I know, I know. If you’ve been reading this blog, my blog or following me on social media for while, you’re already familiar with my deep-seated love for the Benchcrafted Skraper (what is it with the tools I like and funny spellings?!). This is not your grandfather’s scraper. It has a 5/8″-wide x 3/16″- thick solid carbide bar on the business end that is honed on all working surfaces – […]

The post The Anarchist’s Editor’s Gift Guide, Item 2: Benchcrafted ‘Skraper’ appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Remarkable Article Sheds New Light on H.O. Studley

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 9:24am


Recently I was contacted by artist Tina Gagnon (www.tinagagnon.com) who, in undertaking some research, ran across the following profile of Henry O. Studley in a local newspaper. While some of the minor facts of the piece are at odds with other historical records, it is nonetheless an interesting peek into the life of this man.

— Don Williams, the author of “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley” and the man behind donsbarn.com.



Henry O. Studley Tells Patriot-Ledger a Clear Conscience is His Secret of Long Life

“It must be a clean conscience” was the answer that H. O. Studley of 66 Washington street of this city gave when asked the secret of his long life.

Evidently he has found the fabled fountain of eternal youth, for when a stranger is told that the local man has lived 83 years, and apparently lived them well, there arises a genuine surprise in the mind of the of the questioner as to the accuracy of the statement, so misleading is his appearance.

It is suspected that this man, who is one of the oldest Masons in the city of Quincy, and a Grand Army member of the local post, is something of a philosopher and it is known that he is a genial gentleman with a sense of humor.

His moral guidance has been to a considerable extend the Golden Rule, and he believes that what is wicked to do on Sunday is wicked on any other day in the week; and while not a member of any church denomination he believes fully in another phase of existence after this life and has a strong suspicion that there may be, under suitable conditions, a communication between the two.

Work, plenty of work, carefully and beautifully contrived work of the hands, along the lines of wood carving and metal work, has occupied the time of Mr. Studley, both as a vocation and means of amusement in the years of the past.

Judging from the many artistically patterned specimens which he possesses, his hands have never been idle; but pretty things of beautiful woods, and these many times inlaid with mother-of-pearl and silver, have made many others happy as well as himself.

Not that all the happiness he has provided has been from beautifully wrought presents, for he has been a musician of repute, especially in playing the banjo, and audiences in various sections of New England have had the opportunity to enjoy his music.


It was because of a very remarkable tool cabinet in his possession and his own work, together with the tools themselves, that the representative of the Patriot-Ledger chanced to meet Mr. Studley in his home here.

The cabinet is of a most ingenious contrivance, containing a multitudinous number of tools of all sizes and kinds, each of which may be removed without misplacing another through a peculiar layer system that has been instituted.

The cabinet was built when Mr. Studley was employed by the Poole Piano Company, a firm for which he worked for about 20 years, completing his duties about three years ago.

His firm was particularly proud of this cabinet and in a paper issued by the company was an article devoted to the maker, with a picture of Mr. Studley and his remarkable cabinet and tools. The article was considerably copied by other trades papers.


Under the caption, “Leading Craftsman Devoted Life to the Study of Instruments,” the following information was given:

The Poole Piano Company has in its employ an action finisher in the person of H.O. Studley, who ranks among the leaders of the trade’s best craftsmen. He has devoted a life to piano manufacturing in its various departments and prides himself on a tool cabinet of his own manufacture, which probably cannot be duplicated in the trade.

“A place for everything and everything in its place” has been the motto in Mr. Studley’s life, the article goes on to state. He built the cabinet in his spare moments from mahogany, inlaid with ebony, pearl and ivory. The cabinet is of many parts and contains several panels of tools which may be removed and each show the same careful regularity of position inside the cabinet.

Continuing, it stated that the local man was born in Lowell, spending his boyhood in South Scituate, but has lived in Quincy since 17 years of age. The article continued: “He commutes every day from the ‘city of Presidents’ to the Poole factory in Cambridge. A veteran of the Civil War, he is wonderfully preserved and is daily at his bench in the action department of the Poole factory. He is precise in every walk of life and puts his best effort into piano actions, which is one of the salient features of the Poole Piano Co.’s pianos and players. He has been a valued employee for a period of 18 years and bids fair to round out many more.”

This was printed several years ago and now Mr. Studley is resting on his oars and enjoying a respite from active duties, having in his home many handsome souvenirs, unique and delicately made, as trophies of those days when his hands skillfully wrought the things his brain contrived.


Among these are jewel cases of handsome design, a miniature organ, a tiny violin in a case, also a weather vane representative of a soldier in uniform which swings its arms indicative of the direction of the wind, as it operates in the breeze.  A mallet made of the wood from the old “Constitution” with metal work for adornments, daintily patterned, is also one of the many things possessed.

Interesting among the souvenirs are several tiny books carved from bone and inlaid in colors. These were carved in a rebel prison where the local grand army man was confined for several months. The bone was from meat provided for his sustenance and his only tool was a pocket knife.

A peculiar feature of his skill for handicraft in that Mr. Studley is a “chip off the old block,” his father having been gifted in a similar manner. The local man has a wooden case for a clock, hand carved and about 110 years old, that was fashioned by his father in a skillful manner, but he was the only one of the sons who inherited the gift.

It is said that a man becomes like the vocation which he pursues through life.  It may be that contriving things of beauty, with a nicety of detail and precision, together with the harmony of sounds, is conducive to a fine life, with a tendency to increase the years, being apart from the wear and tear of conflicting emotions.  Possibly that is why poise and serenity are predominant traits and the years sit so lightly on this maker of beautiful things.

Quincy Patriot-Ledger, Sept. 21, 1921

Filed under: Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

Planing Stop in the Split Top Roubo

Benchcrafted - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 8:33am
A customer recently asked where to install his Benchcrafted Planing Stop in his Split Top Roubo, as the Split Top Roubo plans do not include the planing stop.

Here's where we recommend you install the stop: between the two dogs immediately to the left of the leg vise. You'll have to move the stop a little inboard (that is, a bit past the 2-3/4" we show in the planing stop instructions) to allow some space between the stop's stock and the dogs. We don't show any dimensions because your bench may be different. Here's the basic idea behind finding the right spot. You don't want to get the stop too close to the dogs, and at the same time you don't want it too close to the leg either so it doesn't end up behind your potentially-wider leg vise chop, making adjustment annoying.

Categories: Hand Tools

December to Remember Holiday Sweepstakes

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 5:30am

The weather is lukewarm and rainy at the shop today so that can only mean one thing. It’s the holiday season! OK, you can’t really predict what time of year it is by measuring the flighty weather of Cincinnati. The holiday season brings all of those old traditions that you love: eating great meals, gathering together to take awkward family photos immediately after eating great meals, discussing sudden hair loss with […]

The post December to Remember Holiday Sweepstakes appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking


Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 4:56am


We (and our kids) were all inoculated with enough Geometry during middle school to “know” the Pythagorean theorem. You know, the one that enables us to rattle off:  “A squared plus B squared equals C squared.”  But that particular manifestation of the underlying geometric truth of our particular universe isn’t limited to squares. In the above drawing, we have three hexagons built upon the three legs (labeled A, B and C) of a right triangle. Just like squares, if you add the area of the two little shapes they will equal the area of the biggest one. In other words: A hexagoned plus B hexagoned equals C hexagoned. This works for all similarly shaped polygons by the way.

Want the “proof?” All you need is a couple sticks and a bit of string as in the photo below. Have your 4-year-old lend you a hand…she’ll immediately intuit what an equation is really all about!  (No, this is not your rigorous algebraic proof, or even a Euclidean logic proof…Instead it’s what me bandmates used to call: “Good enough for rock and roll.”)

– Jim Tolpin, ByHandandEye.com


Filed under: By Hand & Eye
Categories: Hand Tools

Hayward vs Hasluck, Ellis, & Jones

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 4:00am

With the release last week of the third volume of Lost Art Press's reprints of the writings and drawing of Charles H. Hayward I got to thinking about the other greats of woodworking writing and who is better for what. Paul Hasluck, Bernard Jones, and George Ellis were all pioneers in woodworking writing, starting in the last third of the nineteenth century and continuing until the early twentieth, They all worked at one time or another for "Work Magazine" and today, over a century later, their work is some of the best guides to Victorian woodworking practice. Ellis, ( Modern Practical Joinery & Modern Practical Stairbuilding and Handrailing are still in print) wrote mostly for professionals or really beginners striving to do professional type work. Other out of print titles of his were for late 19th century professionals and titles such as "Modern Practical Carpentry" are just the thing if you want to build a railroad trestle or flying scaffolding out of wood. His book of examination projects for carpenters, is an advanced exam for Edwardian framers, but today we have greatly simplified the process of framing so the book is out of print and rare. (When we set up our book ripper again I will scan my copy and post it but it will be awhile). I think I can also safely suggest that in the 19th century all these writers were still feeling their way on how to write instructional material. On one end was the professional, who trained by apprenticeship, and on the other were schoolchildren who were doing very basic stuff. These writers were trying to give instruction for people who didn't have the benefit of an apprenticeship but still wanted to build stuff. You also should realize that if you wanted to be a cabinetmaker in 1890 you left school and apprenticed at age 14. As a teenager you might take some classes using Ellis or his contemporaries as a textbook. But all of these writers (Jones excepted) expected that you know how to use your tools, cut straight and sharpen. Ellis's books for the most part skip basic technique.

Paul Hasluck was primarily an editor, taking material from many authors and turning it into a coherent whole. Carpentry and Joinery is possibly the best book ever written on late Victorian architectural woodworking techniques, but it's certainly not a book for the raw beginner. The writing is crunchy by modern standards, and the drawings while truly superb - and you can learn tons - aren't step by step (except for window layout). A beginner can learn about layout and structure and I think Carpentry and Joinery is a mandatory read for anyone doing architectural restoration.

Of the three authors Bernard Jones is probably the most accessible and useful to modern beginning woodworkers. The four volume Practical Woodworker series we stock is awesome. Jones makes a decent attempt to teach beginner hand skills and the books have a tone of a classroom text - with lots of extras. I learned a lot.

All three of these authors worked for Cassell's publication at one time or another but it was a rival organization that nurtured Charles Hayward. Percival Marshall was the founder and editor of "The Model Engineer" an awesome publication for metalworkers and in 1901 he launched a sister publication "The Woodworker" specializing in woodworking.

Charles H. Hayward became the editor of The Woodworker at the start of World War two. His unique ability to write well, draw explanatory materials, plus a professional apprenticeship as a cabinetmaker gave him the unique ability to explain how to do stuff better than anyone before or since. Lost Art Press has reprinted three volumes so far of his articles, grouped by Tools, Technique and Joinery. You don't get the narrative buildup that you get in Jones, or the traditional complexity of structure that Ellis and Hasluck delve into but you do get amazing short articles on all sorts of subjects, that really teach you important stuff. As the books are made up of independent articles you can dip in an out as you feel. Jones is trying to build a training narrative but Hayward is far more succinct, has a modern writing style, and between text and drawings you will understand more than you could possibly imagine.

I cannot imagine anyone not wanting to read Hayward, it's that good. I recommend Hasluck and Ellis for learning how Victorian architecture and carvings were designed and put together. Finally Bernard Jones has been a favorite of my for years for his traditional education and his attention to the details of woodworking.

new project.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 12/07/2016 - 12:53am
There are still 6 more holders to go but I've had my fill of them for now. I have all the ones done that I need for the 24th, so I'm moving on. I need to recharge my batteries with something new to do and I really don't care what it is. But did I pick up on the book rack that I have already started? No I didn't sports fans, I started something new. My wife wants a new spice rack so that is what I am going to make.

My main focus will be on the spice rack and it shouldn't take that long to whack out. Off camera I'll still be playing with and finishing up the holders. Once the six (or seven) of them are completed, I'll post some glamour shots.

the new spice rack goes here
The spice rack previous to this one, was over the stove which wasn't a good spot. Spices deteriorate when exposed to heat. But that was the only spot in the kitchen at that time I could put it. The new spot is to the right of the stove and is far enough way from it that it's heat won't effect them.

last pic of ebonizing
This has a one coat of SW&V on it and all the light areas from yesterday are gone. I'll put the tannic acid on tonight and another one tomorrow. SW&V worked well for me and I'll use it again. I still want to try apple cider vinegar and iron bits to see how that works out. I will use the tannic acid powder rather than any of the other methods because it also worked well for me and it is convenient to use.

ebonizing finish experiment is done
I don't know the long term results of this but I'm ok with not knowing that. What I have found out is the finish takes a lot more coats to shine on ebonized wood than applying finish to bare wood. The surprise finish was the water based poly. This stuff shined up on the second coat. Maybe it being  water based somehow reacted favorably with the acidic ebonizing solutions? I'll have to ask my son-in-law/daughter chemistry team about this.

cook books
Besides spices and maybe a few cooking gadgets, I want my 4 favorite cookbooks on this book/spice rack. This is the largest book of the four so I'll use this to size the book shelf part.

spice containers
These are representative of the spices we use. There isn't a huge difference and I'll size one shelf for the red cap container and the last one for the largest bottle. Everything else inbetween them should fit.

lunchtime doodling
I've been doing this now for two days and I finally settled on this. Or something close to it as it may change some when it goes from paper to wood.

plywood is too small
At the bottom of the book/spice rack I want a back board that I can put hooks and knobs in. I'll use them to hang measuring spoons and cups and any other essential cooking gadget that will fit. I wanted to use this piece of plywood to make a pattern but it's not happening. On to plan B.

one my wife's old bookcase shelves
Not what I wanted to use for a pattern but it is all I have. I don't have any 1/4" plywood that is big enough to use to make a pattern. I picked this because it had two chewed up rough long edges. I got one long edge square and straight and squared up the bottom. I didn't need to do the other long edge because I'll be cutting the curves there.

ready to go
Of all the planes I have and use, the #8 is one plane that I don't have any problems getting a square edge with. My biggest and heaviest plane and I find it to be the best one to square edges with.

using the actual things to set my shelf heights
After I get the curves draw and cutout, I can set my shelf depths.

laying out the curve by eye
I drew the top and bottom curves free hand and tried to do this one too but switched to this. After I got this curve I repeated it for the bottom one. I wasn't happy with how it looked free hand. The block of wood was used to keep the wood strip in place. Without it I couldn't clamp that end of it because the wood strip is too thin.

bandsawed the waste and spokeshaved it to the lines
Overall I'm happy with how this looks for now. There are two things I need to change. The first is getting the two points where the curves on the front change direction to be better defined. I think they would look better if it they were more pointed.

The other thing is to extend the bottom out more. I want the shelf to end a 1/2" from the bottom point where the curves change direction. I have that now but the book overhangs the front edge of the shelf and that I don't want. I also want a 1/2" of clearance from the end of the shelf to the book. I can still use this pattern but I'll have to push it forward of the back edge at least 1" when I do the lay out.

the bottom looks exaggerated to me
I think I'll tighten up this bottom. Instead of the long sweep I'll bring it up 2-3 inches more. That should look more like the top one but a bit bigger.

it's toast
My wife shot this down immediately. I knew from the look in her eye when she first saw it that it was toast. Turns out that this is way too modern looking and doesn't go with the kitchen decor. The kitchen only has 3 cupboards with bare walls, who knew what the decor was? Obviously not me but my wife sure knows what it is. The spice rack was supposed to a 1930's looking one.

I've been down this rabbit hole with my wife before. No matter what I make she will make a face and pick out something that is terribly wrong with it. I'll change it and she will pick a new one and so the cycle starts without an end in sight. The last time this happened I went through 15 iterations of a shelf bracket before she ok'd it.

What I'll do now is make one and if there is something she doesn't like that I can change I will. If not I'll tell her to go to the Pottery Barn or IKEA to pick out something she likes. In the interim I'll be looking at 1930 style kitchens to get some ideas.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Of the five oceans in the world, which is the smallest?
answer - the Arctic ocean is and it's the shallowest one too

Framing the New Workshop, Days 8 and 9

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Tue, 12/06/2016 - 3:13pm
For most people, setting up a shop for the first time is largely a matter of adapting to the existing facilities.

Hideo Kamimoto, Complete Guitar Repair, 1975

I have so much work to do!

Today, I finished nailing down the roof sheathing and got some trim up on the fascia. I would have put up more trim, but the local lumber yard had nothing but junky 1x8 pine, I was a little disgusted by the selection.

The day started out partly sunny, the temperature was about 16 degrees Fahrenheit, by noon the temperature dropped to 12 degrees and a breeze came up making it too cold to work. Yes, there was a time in my life when I would framing in subzero temperatures, I work for myself now, no point in making work a brutal thing.

As I write this post, it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit with heavy snow. The forecast calls for subzero temperatures tonight with up to one foot of snow!

After getting the rafters up and into place, day seven, I got the sub-fascia up on the north and south elevations...

...the sub-fascia almost up...

and getting the the lookouts made on the east...

and west elevations.

Day eight I put down the 5/8 thick OSB roof sheathing.

This is what the shop looked like this afternoon...

I need to finish nailing all the wall shear, then 1/4 exterior plywood needs to be purchased, along with some ice and water shield and corrugated roofing for the roof.

Electrical wire needs to be pulled, outlet and lighting boxes located and nailed up, then there's insulation to put in. Did I mention the ten sashes that I will build entirely by hand?

Good thing I got my copy of Charles Hayward's The Woodworker today from Lost Art Press! I admit that sashes were much easier to make when I worked at Yosemite National Park, the workshop was equipped with a floor mounted mortising machine, an eight inch joiner, a twenty four inch thickness planer, a 3hp shaper and a dedicated tenoning/coping machine just for sashes. I like Hayward's description of how to make a sash, I look forward to the task.

Categories: Luthiery

Pennsylvania spice chest 8, outside of cabinet completed.

Mulesaw - Tue, 12/06/2016 - 2:08pm
Out here blogging takes longer time than building.
Not that I am such a slow writer, but just getting blogspot to open the page where I can actually write takes half an hour every once now and then.

But Brian Eve has sent me a tutorial on how to make my pictures smaller, so hopefully that should speed up the process of uploading pictures on the blog. Let's see about that. I remain skeptical until proven otherwise.

The crown moulding and the base moulding were difficult to mount. Mostly becasue I managed to make the box a little bit out of square, and on top of that I had to struggle with workholding for non flat pieces of moulding.
The front of the crown moulding was glued to the entire width of the case, and the two side pieces were just glued in the forward 2.5" more or less, and then got a few brads to secure them near the backside. Hopefully that will allow for a bit of wood movement.

The base moulding all attaches to a frame that was joined with mortise and tenons. So all the mouldings are simply glued to that frame. The frame is also where the legs are attached.

For the feet of the spice chest, I considered either turning some or making shaped feet. Spruce is not a super good wood for turning, plus I wanted to prove to myself that I could make shaped feet without a bandsaw or a jigsaw, so shaped feet it was.
The front legs were joined by gluing the miter. I didn't ad any reinforcements, cause they would also be glued to the sub frame anyway, besides there was no idea in pushing the difficulty of this to an extreme level.

The rear feet were left as a long block of wood (7.5"), so I could plane the shape for both feet at the same time.
I sketched the desired shape on the end of the feet, and used my moving fillister plane without the depth stop and the fence. The outside curve was a walk in the part to make, the inside curve took a bit longer and was cleaned up using a half round file with some coarse sandpaper wrapped around it.
When the shapes were planed on all the parts, I drilled a couple of holes to remove some of the clumsiness. For some strange reason, we have some incredible fine wood drills on board, approximately 1" and 1.25" in diameter. I used the 1"drill and the result was perfect.

After the drilling, I marked some angled lines that I sawed next to, and finally I eased the outside edges with a round file and a bit of sandpaper.

The feet were glued and screwed in place after I eyeballed their position.

Thanks to Brian Eve's trick, it only took 8 minutes to upload a picture :-)
Please note the very neutral and non disturbing background for my picture. I take a lot of pride in presenting my work so it looks the part. A key ingredient to this is to make sure that there is no clutter in the picture..

Outside completed.

Categories: Hand Tools

Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 6: WoodOwl Auger Bits

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Tue, 12/06/2016 - 12:11pm

Jameel “Jamal-Alabama” Abraham of Benchcrafted introduced me to these bits, and I still need to repay the favor with beer and/or bratwurst. These bits are the cat’s meow, knees and pyjamas. Made in Japan, the WoodOwls cut through tough, wet, thick wood like it almost isn’t there. When you drill a lot of holes through 6”-thick wet French oak, these bits are a lifesaver. But even if you don’t build […]

The post Anarchist’s 2016 Gift Guide, Day 6: WoodOwl Auger Bits appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools


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